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The superpopulation approach for estimating the population size of ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibians: Examples from Europe


Wagner, N; Pellet, J; Lötters, S; Schmidt, B R; Schmitt, T (2011). The superpopulation approach for estimating the population size of ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibians: Examples from Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia, 32(3):323-332.

Abstract

Individual members of a population of ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibian species are asynchronously present at
their breeding sites. Therefore, population size estimates can be misleading when based on commonly used closed or
open-population capture-mark-recapture approaches. The superpopulation approach, a modified Jolly-Seber model, has
been successfully applied in taxa other than amphibians with distinct migratory behaviour and where individuals are
asynchronously present at the sampling site. In this paper, we suggest that the superpopulation approach is a useful population
size estimator for ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibian species. Two case studies on European anurans show that superpopulation
estimates are much higher than simple population counts. A simulation study showed that superpopulation estimates are
unbiased but that accuracy can be low when either survival or detection probabilities (or both) are low. We recommend
the superpopulation approach because it matches the natural history and phenology of amphibian species with prolonged
breeding seasons.
Keywords: abundance,

Abstract

Individual members of a population of ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibian species are asynchronously present at
their breeding sites. Therefore, population size estimates can be misleading when based on commonly used closed or
open-population capture-mark-recapture approaches. The superpopulation approach, a modified Jolly-Seber model, has
been successfully applied in taxa other than amphibians with distinct migratory behaviour and where individuals are
asynchronously present at the sampling site. In this paper, we suggest that the superpopulation approach is a useful population
size estimator for ‘prolonged’ breeding amphibian species. Two case studies on European anurans show that superpopulation
estimates are much higher than simple population counts. A simulation study showed that superpopulation estimates are
unbiased but that accuracy can be low when either survival or detection probabilities (or both) are low. We recommend
the superpopulation approach because it matches the natural history and phenology of amphibian species with prolonged
breeding seasons.
Keywords: abundance,

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:abundance, Bufo (Pseudepidalea) viridis, capture-mark-recapture, Hyla arborea, Jolly-Seber model, POPAN, simulation.
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:24 Aug 2011 11:02
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 08:50
Publisher:Brill
ISSN:0173-5373
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/017353711X579768

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